Monday 1 April 2013

Vintage Treasure

Happy Easter everyone! I hope you've all enjoyed a lovely relaxing weekend and found some time for a little bit of stitching!

I've recently been going through my things from when I was a child back home as my Dad is moving house soon. It was really amazing to go through all my old things; I found my very first sewing machine! This has been kept, of course.

My Dad had also found these two amazing sewing books in the loft which my Mum says belonged to my Nan. My sister said when Dad found them he said 'well at least that's one thing we know what we're going to do with!' Without a doubt these two have found a home with me. I was sooo excited! I love these kinds of finds and the fact that I can actually make use of these now is just amazing!

The Singer book has a copyright date of 1969 and the other doesn't have any kind of date or copyright page so Mum thinks was some kind of magazine or sewing materials supplement. From the clothes and the pictures I'd place it around the same date; late 1960s.

As if the fact that these are pieces of sewing history wasn't good enough these might actually turn out to be the most useful sewing books I am lucky enough to own. Both of them cover absolutely every technique I can ever see myself needing to look up and in quite some detail. All the information is still completely relevant to sewing today, it's how to sew and sew well.

The Singer book is just HUGE. The picture above is just one of the five contents pages and you can see the amount of detail it goes into and the ground it covers. It not only starts with the very basics of sewing but throughly discusses fabric choice, including colours to suit you and estimating yardage. It then moves through all the steps of garment construction including fitting at different stages of the process and how to sew and include a huge range of design elements, even finishing up with some guidance for home sewing.

The Simplicity book is very different in that it includes photos along with drawings to illustrate it's step by step guides. There are a few aspects to this book that jump out and intrigue me straight away. Quite a large portion of the book is dedicated to 'The Simplicity Unit System of Sewing'. This is a fascinating step by step guide of the best order in which to put together and finish pattern pieces for almost every type of garment. I'd love to study this and use it along with my basic pattern drafting knowledge to create my own garments from absolute scratch.

Along with this there's a section on how to use a pattern which should be really useful when it comes to working with some of my Nan's vintage patterns (as yet I'm too scared of these to do anything other than smooth out the pattern pieces and admire the envelope illustrations!) There's also a section on working with 'special fabrics' such as knits and slippery fabrics along with pattern matching. Tackling all of these things are high up on my sewing to do list so this book is already looking to be worth it's weight in gold!

I think I'm all set for sewing books now don't you?!

P.S. I'm super excited about The Great British Sewing Bee finally starting! Tuesday 2nd April 8pm BBC2. That's TOMORROW! Go Tilly!


  1. What fun books! It's so cool that they've been passed down in your family!

  2. What great books! I have a Simplicity book from 1979 which came from my Granny. It doesn't have the Simplicity sewing system though, but it is such a useful book.

  3. Ah wow what an amazing find! I have a vintage dressmaking book that I love- you are so right, all the instructions are still totally relevant today!
    Glad you are back from your little blogging hiatus :)

    1. Thanks Ami, think I've actually got a bit of time off this week so it's going to be all sewing and blogging around here!


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